Local News

Orphan Train Museum was discussed at Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 2-20-24 Rotarian Peter Strawitz invited Martha Aubert and James Douget from the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum to present the program at the Rotary meeting on Tuesday. The Louisiana Orphan Train Museum will be celebrating 15 years in October. This museum is 100% volunteer run, and there are approximately 2000 visitors per year. They do a lot of community outreach as well. In the mid-1800s, there was a huge influx of people to New York, and due to shortages, there were thousands of street children, possibly as many as 30,000. Sister Irene Fitzgibbons founded the New York Foundling Hospital. She got the Catholic Church involved, and they were able to send children, as many as 350,000, all over the country. Most of them taken in as indentured servants, but they became a part of the families and part of the local communities. The Church sent people to check on the welfare of the children. Many people in this area can trace their roots back to the Orphan Trains. For a long time, their stories were kept quiet due to the stigma attached. However, the stories are being brought to the forefront now. The museum tells the stories of the orphans who came by train to Opelousas. The beautiful pictures on the walls were restored and brought back to life by Bobby Dardeau. There are 434 orphans whose stories are shared in the museum now, but they know there are more. For more information, please reach out to the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum. Other Rotary News: • The speaker for the next meeting on February 27th will be presented by Phillipe Vidrine. • St. Peter's Catholic Church in Grand Prairie is having their Fish Fry on Friday from 5:00 – 7:00

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department Investigates 4 Wheeler Theft

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department Investigates 4 Wheeler Theft February 20, 2024 Last Monday February 12, Detectives of the Criminal Investigation Division with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office was contacted and advised that a St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office Detective contacted the Patrol Sergeant with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office and advised him that a confidential informant had told him that a four-wheeler stolen in St. Landry Parish was in Evangeline Parish and at a residence on the Chatagnier road and he would like Deputies to go and try to find it. Detectives went and met with the Patrol units responding to a residence located at the 5900 Blk. of Chataignier Road. Upon arrival, Deputies met with a subject residing there. That subject allowed Deputies to go into two storage containers on the property which possibly contained a stolen four-wheeler but none were found. Deputies later learned there was an address on St. Julien Road and that the stolen four-wheeler might be there. Upon arrival at the 1000 Blk. St. Julien Road, Deputies received consent to search from the homeowners. The homeowners allowed Deputies to search the residence and even helped Deputies look for VIN numbers. During the search, Deputies found a red Honda TRX90 four-wheeler stolen from the Eunice area along with several other four-wheelers that are still awaiting confirmation as being stolen. After interviewing the home owner (Tim Stelly age 41 of Ville Platte) took full responsibility for having the stolen four-wheeler .He was then placed under arrest for Possession of Stolen Things and is currently being heled in the Evangeline Parish Jail with a $35,000.00 bond. Lacey Miller was also placed under arrest for an unrelated St. Landry Parish warrant. She also resides at the above-mentioned address. This investigation is still ongoing and other arrests are possible. As always, Sheriff Charles R. Guillory and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their Investigation Department via phone at 337-363-2161 or through the agency's website at www.evangelineparishsheriff.org. Any person reporting information will remain anonymous. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department receives donation for new radios

On February 5,2024 the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office was given a donation of $1,500.00 from Boardwalk/Texas Gas Pipeline Company towards the purchase of new 700 mhz portable radios. The donation was presented on February 8, 2024 by representative Brian Johnson to the Sheriff. The Sheriff would like to thank Boardwalk/Texas Gas Pipeline Company for the generous donation that was very much appreciated.

Ville Platte City Council Meeting Feb. 6, 2024

Ville Platte City Council - Meeting, Tuesday, February 6, 2024 The Ville Platte City Council met Tuesday night, and Council members asked about specific drainage ditches and sewer lines, and requested signs for churches and schools as well as cross walks. The City Council also voted to set Utility Deposit Rates for Residential Customers at $75.00 and Commercial Customers at $150.00. Charles Tate and Sarahi Sawtelle presented their request for a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City. Freedom Family Church is planning to build two outdoor courts behind the Hundredfold Coffee building as well as an indoor facility for inclement weather in order to provide supervised activities for children in the Parish. Under the CEA, they requested $6,000 to go towards the expense of completing the courts and buying the necessary supplies. The Council approved the Resolution. The City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, updated the Council on various projects. The Phase 4 Water Improvement Project has been funded. The plan is to refurbish all the lift stations. The estimated time to start is 45-60 days, with an estimated completion time of 6-9 months. Mr. Landreneau recommended a Subsurface Evaluation of Utilities. The State has approved the plans for the Heritage Garden. A few changes are needed to meet federal guidelines, and they are about 2 weeks from getting approval to get bids. The preliminary plans are finished for the big parks. The design and construction is approved for half of the project, and they are working with our Representative and Senator for the second half. Fire Chief Chris Soileau reported from the Fire Department. The water leaks under discussion also affect fire prevention and ratings, and he indicated that they may need to change out some fire hydrants. There were 31 incidents handled by the Fire Department in January. In the City, there were three structural fires, one electrical wiring, one carbon monoxide related, one cooking fire and one travel trailer. If you have a generator, you should have a carbon monoxide detector. The Fire Department is working to replenish their staffing. They are recruiting volunteers for the junior program, advertising and taking applications. Chief Soileau introduced and obtained Council approval to hire Dennis Scott as a Full Time Probationer Firefighter/Operator and Christopher White as a Full Time Provisional Firefighter/Operator. The Police Chief, Al Perry Thomas, reported to the Mayor that there were 633 calls in January – down 151 from December. The police made a total of 30 arrests and three of those were felony arrests. There were 20 accidents, four with injuries. The Mayor reported the following: 1. He appointed Eric Fontenot to Cabot's Economic Development Board. 2. The City street and drainage crews are staying on the Canal project. The sewer issue is an obstruction. The City invested in a pipeline inspection camera. It showed that 125' from the man hole, there was a tree root growing through the main line. Two Sewer Pipe Jetter Machines were purchased to clear the pipes. 3. There have been numerous calls to add or repair street lights. The Mayor is looking into some new long term solutions. Please report street lights that are out so they can be addressed. 4. The City is going to participate in the Clearance Program created to address and eliminate slum and blight. The Council approved a Resolution for the City's application for the 2023-2024 LGAP. This is the Local Government Assistance Program - $50,000 for the removal of blighted and abandoned properties. The next meeting will be Tuesday, March

Ville Platte Police Investigating two shootings that occurred the same day

Police searching for subjects wanted in two shootings February 2, 2024 Ville Platte Police Chief Al Perry Thomas reported to KVPI News that on Wednesday January 31 at 1:37pm, detectives responded to an apparent shooting. The location was at the intersection of Young Street and Martin Luther King Street where a male victim was injured from a single gunshot wound to his lower leg. The victim was identified as Andrew Thomas age 28 of Ville Platte He was transported to a hospital in Rapides Parish by Acadian Air Med where he was listed in stable condition. Chief Thomas said his department was notified at 1;39pm the same day on Wednesday of a second shooting incident, this time near the 600 block of East Washington Street in Ville Platte. The male victim was identified as Artrell Denton of Ville Platte. He was transported to a hospital in Lafayette where was listed to be in stable condition. Anyone who has information on these two shootings is asked to contact the Ville Platte Police Department. All callers will remain anonymous.

Assessor Chris Guillory guest speaker at Rotary Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 1-30-24 The Rotary Club program today was presented by Rotarian Joey Soileau. He invited Chris Guillory, the Evangeline Parish Assessor and his guest, Josh Fontenot, the Chief Deputy and CPA, to provide updates on the effect on Millage Totals for Evangeline Parish that will be provided by the Pine Prairie Energy IDB. The grand totals for tax year 2023 will be $2,571,683.66. This is significant for the Parish. This amount is roughly equivalent to the addition of 1000 - $300,000 homes in the area. The next IDB meeting will be held on February 6 at 4:00 at the Coreil Campus. The Assessor also presented information about a potential Solar Project and how that could affect taxes. These negotiations are all confidential, and have not been concluded. Other Rotary News: • Wayne Vidrine reported on the success of the Azalea planting at Chicot Park. The weather cooperated, and they were able to get the azaleas planted with the help of the Rotarians who volunteered and the students. He acknowledged how great it was to have the Reimagine Academy Students out to help. • Money is being collected for the Super Bowl pool. Beau Wilson would like to have all funds collected by next week's meeting • Rotary Bills have been mailed. Check with Annette Johnson with any questions. • The tentative date for the next Board Meeting is February 6th. This will be confirmed. • The speaker for the next meeting will be presented by Kirk Soileau.

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests

Drug Arrests January 29, 2024 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests: On Thursday January 25, 2024, Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office received a call from a local store owner in Ville Platte stating that there was a female in the store who was becoming disruptive. Upon the arrival of Narcotic Agents came in contact with a white female identified as Mindy Soileau 28 years old of Ville Platte. Soileau was arrested and charged with Possession of 3.54 grams of methamphetamine and 3 unopen packs of Suboxone Sublingual strips 8mg each. On Tuesday January 23, 2024, Narcotic Agents were conducting Criminal Patrol in the town of Mamou, specifically traveling down Mulberry Street, when they observed a male subject, agents identified as Leroy Moses ,38 of Mamou who was known to have active warrants through the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office. Upon making contact with Leroy Moses, he was advised he was under arrest due to warrants. Agents then conducted a routine pat search of Leroy Moses. During the search Agents located an unopened pack of Suboxone. Leroy was taken to jail on the active Warrants. The Agents secured an arrest warrant for Possession of Suboxone without a prescription. On Wednesday January 24,2024 Narcotic Agents conducting Criminal Patrol in the Chataignier community conducted a traffic stop for vehicle violations. Upon making contact with the driver who was identified as Ricky Dabney a 39 year old from Opelousas. Narcotic Agents recovered approximately 1.3 grams of marijuana and 2.23 grams of cocaine. A criminal summons was issued for the marijuana, citied for traffic citations and arrested for Possession of schedule II Cocaine.

Public Schools Closed Today due to flooding conditions

Assistant Supt. Of Schools Mike Lombas reported to KVPI News that all public schools in Evangeline Parish will not have classes due to the flooding conditions. Keep tuned to KVPI for further announcements. Evangeline Parish is under a flash flood warning for today.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Special Meeting Monday

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting January 22, 2024 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, in a special meeting Monday, accepted the recommendation of its parish engineer to delay the awarding of a contract on major improvements at the Wyble Subdivision sewer plant. Engineer Ronnie Landreneau told jurors that the lowest bid out of three bids submitted was for $1 million 99 thousand, which is about $100,000 budget over the parish budget estimate. The project funds are coming from a sewer grant. The engineer said he will work with the bidder to see if they can scale back the project to fit within the budget amount. Jurors also discussed the financial issues the parish has been facing with the operation of its ten sewer plants scattered throughout the parish. The parish has about 1000 customers with about a 30 percent delinquency rate. One customer owes the parish some $3,000 in delinquent fees. Jurors say the sewer fees which are $22 a month are too low to sustain the costs of operating the plants. The monthly sewer fees should be almost double the amount they are now charging. Jury President Bryan Vidrine said the state is helping by putting delinquent sewer customers a tax lien on their state taxes. Juror Kevin Veillon said the sewer plants are "draining our budget and putting a strain on our employees". The sewer plant employee is on medical leave so the jury is having to move their parish road and bridge maintenance supervisor over to make necessary repairs and work on the sewer plants which is backing up road and drainage projects. In other action, the police jury appointed Dirk Deville as new interim secretary treasurer to replace Chester Granger who is retiring February 17. Granger served 25 years as maintenance supervisor and the last year as Secretary Treasurer.

Evangeline Parish Sheriff Arrests

Sheriff Office Arrests January 22, 2024 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News, on Thursday January 18, narcotics agents while conducting criminal patrol on the Lanse Bleu road observed an occupant in a vehicle commit traffic violations. The traffic stop resulted in the arrest of Jessica Deville on a charge of possession of 6.78 grams of Methamphetamine and was issued a ticket for driving under suspension. Also, on January 18, sheriff's office narcotics agents conducted a search warrant at a residence at 570 Bayou Marron road. Richard Manuel was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute 28 grams of Methamphetamine and Possession of a firearm in the presence of illegal narcotics. In another case, on January 5, narcotics agents with the sheriff's office and the Allen Parish Swat Team executed a No-Knock narcotic search warrant at 115 West Jefferson Street in Ville Platte, the residence of Kaybrien Ardoin. As a result of the search warrant, Ardoin was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute 492.1 grams of marijuana, 8 MDMA pills and possession of a weapon in the presence of illegal narcotics. Also, a juvenile suspect was arrested in connection with the theft of two ATY's stolen December 8 from the tow yard of R&T Towing. The business owner reported that suspects gained entry into the tow yard and had stolen two ATY's. It was later learned that the business owner had video evidence of suspects that committed the burglary. The juvenile was later arrested and charged with simple burglary, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property and unauthorized entry of a place of business. The investigation is on going and more arrests are likely. Sheriff Guillory urges the public to contact his office to report criminal activity at 337-363-2161. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

KVPI Radio Crew, Mallory and Mike, covered the 4-H Jr. Market Animal Show and Sale Saturday

Despite the chilly weather, the annual Evangeline Parish Jr. Market Animal Show and Sale for 4-H and F.F.A. students was a big success today at the Chauncey Pitre Ag Arena sponsored by the LSU Ag Center. The Classic Hits 92-5 KVPI road crew, Misty Parker and Mike Perron, were on the scene talking with Ag officials and students. A big thanks to all our sponsors.

Sacred Heart Schools to close Tuesday

Sacred Heart School Closed Tuesday January 15, 2023 Here is a special message from Sacred Heart School Development Director Kimberly LeJeune: "Based on an advisory from our local weather service, as a result of anticipated unsafe driving conditions due to extreme weather, Sacred Heart School will be closed Tuesday January 16. We will update everyone as soon as we receive additional information."

Schools Closed Due to Weather

Evangeline Parish School Closure January 15, 2024 Evangeline Parish Supt. Of Schools Darwan Lazard reported to KVPI News: "In communication with the local 9-1-1 Office of Emergency Preparedness an based upon the most recent National Weather Service advisory indicating extremely cold temperatures with a possibility of unsafe driving conditions , the Evangeline Parish School District, all campuses and district offices will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday Jan. 16 and 17. The safety of our students and employees remains our top priority. We anticipate that we will resume regular operations Thursday January 16. Check local media outlets, school board website and social media platforms for updates."

Ville Platte City Council Meeting

Ville Platte City Council Meeting January 10, 2023 The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday heard from Linda Fontenot who is in charge of a program to help young people called "Save Our Community Kids Adventure Camp". Her group plans activities and events for young people including workshops the arts and science. Her headquarters is on Jack Miller Road. This past year, her group mentored some 35 young people. Ville Platte Mayor Ryan LeDay Williams, in his mayo's report announced that the city will be adding another retail business that will bring in another 40-50 new direct jobs to our area. The mayor said the agreement with the new firm forbids him from disclosing more information about the business. He said ground breaking will take place late this summer. The city council reviewed the cost of utility deposits in the city as compared to deposits that residents in other municipalities are paying. It was learned that Ville Platte residents are paying more than in other comparable size cities. No action was taken by the council. The council approved annexing property along US 167 Opelousas road from Crimson Lane to the East Side Water system office. Fire Chief Chris Soileau reported there were 22 incidents for the month of December including two grass fires and two building fires. For the year 2023, the fire department worked 308 fire incidents. The Ville Platte City Council approved a request to raise the salaries of paid firefighters by two percent for a cost of $8800 a year. The city approved the hiring of Chirstopher Jordan Dupre as a new firefighter. Police Chief Al Perry Thomas reported there were 784 calls for December. The police wrote 8 traffic tickets, made 28 arrests including 7 felony arrests, and worked 27 traffic accidents and one fatality. The city approved hiring John Christophel and Javonte Freeman as new police officers. In other business, the city: --Approved advertising for bids for the refurbishing of 19 sewer lift stations using funds from a five million dollar grant; --voted to name Councilwoman Anna Frank as Mayor Pro tem for the year 2024; -approved moving the February council meeting date to Feb. 6 due to the Mardi Gras holiday.

Rotary Club hears Annette Johnson discuss Rotary Time Capsule

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting January 9, 2023 The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Rotarian Annette Johnson speak about an event that occurred in 2011 when the local club buried a time capsule in connection with the centennial celebration of Evangeline Parish. Johnson showed photos and newspaper articles detailing the various events that took place at the courthouse square in honor of the parish' 100th birthday. Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc read a proclamation that was included in the time capsule that will be opened in 2061. The time capsule was buried in front of the bell tower. The time capsule was donated by Chad Soileau of Soileau Industries and the marker was provided by Centurion Monuments. A number of items were included in the capsule including some 70 photographs of homes and businesses in the Ville Platte area. Annette Johnson was the guest speaker of Rotarian Ronnie Landreneau. In other business, the rotary club: --have scheduled January 23 to gather to plant azaleas at Chicot State Park assisted by Sacred Heart and Reimagine Academy students; --heard from Larry Lachney who announced the winners in the football pool. The pool is used to provide two $1250 scholarship winners for its youth leadership program "Ryla".

Sacred Heart Christmas Under the Oaks

On Wednesday night, Sacred Heart School presented Christmas Under The Oaks. KVPI was there and spoke with Ms. Rebecca Ardoin, the Religion Administrator at Sacred Heart School. The students have been working on this program for several months and did a wonderful job! They presented the Nativity of our Lord. The Junior Class presented a Live Nativity Set. The Elementary Choir sang beautiful Christmas carols, and the Praise Team performed a beautiful dance for the Celebration. It was a lovely evening for Christmas Under the Oaks!

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 1-2-24 The Rotary Club program on Tuesdqy was presented by Rotarian Dan Poret. He invited Colisse Dupont, the Executive Director of Enrollment Services at SLCC. The strategic plan for SLCC is to boost enrollment by developing plans to increase the programs being offered, particularly outside of Lafayette. Since COVID, application numbers have doubled in Ville Platte, and overall enrollment has increased by 3%. SLCC is now offering Agricultural Science. They offer an on-line program in Education and Oil and Gas Production. Business Office Technology has been added, and they have added Virtual Programs. Tuition has not increased, and SLCC is now offering assistance for students who need laptops. There is a food pantry to help with food insecurity needs. Other programs being offered include Welding, Criminal Justice, Practical Nursing, Business, Adult Education and an excellent Dual Enrollment program. The Advisory Boards have been revitalized. SLCC is working on a Medical Assistant Program and an Advanced Manufacturing Program that should be available in 2025-2026. They are offering Engineering packages within the General Studies program. When determining the educational packages to be developed, they look at the industries in the communities and determine what skills are needed to fill those industry jobs with the goal of educating the youth to keep them here living and working in this community. In conjunction with the State Mission, SLCC has a goal of completing 46,000 students by 2030. Other Rotary News: • Larry Lachney spoke about the College Championship Football pool. This game is scheduled for January 8th, and there will be 2 scholarships in the amount of $1250 each awarded from the proceeds. • The next meeting will be on January 9th, and the program will be presented by Ronnie Landreneau • The Azalea Project for Chicot Park is planned for January 23rd or 24th or both, depending on whether the project is completed. The plan is to plant 150 azaleas. The Interact Club at Sacred Heart will be involved, and students from Reimagine Academy have also been invited.

Election Returns

Election Returns November 18, 2023 Complete but unofficial election returns show that District Six in Evangeline Parish has a new police juror. Challenger Brent Guillory defeated incumbent police juror Eric Soileau in balloting Saturday night. The final vote was Brent Guillory with 466 votes or 55 percent of the vote to Soileau's 368 votes or 44 percent. All local millage tax propositions were renewed by voters. For the Elderly Services proposition , the millage tax was renewed by parish voters with 2394 people cast yes votes while 1091 votes were against the measure. For the 9-1-1 Communications District millage tax renewal, it passed with 2363 voters voting yes and 1142 voters voting no; For the Police Jury Ward One millage renewal, the millage tax was approved by 510 to 296; For School District Number Seven in the Basile School area, the millage tax renewal was approved 159 to 64; In the Mamou Gravity Drainage District Number Five , the millage tax was renewed with 127 voting yes and 55 voting no; In Statewide races, Evangeline Parish voters did the following: For Secretary of State: Nancy Landry defeated Gwen Collins Greenup with Landry getting 2966 votes and her opponent 696 votes; For Attorney General: Liz Baker Murrill easily defeated Lindsey Cheek, 2977 to 671; For State Treasurer: John Fleming with 2904 votes beat Dustin Granger who received 748 votes. In the constitutional amendments: Amendment #1, Evangeline Parish voters approved the amendment 2094 votes with 1327 against which deals with the timing of gubernatorial action on bill; Amendment #2 deals with repealing certain funds in the state treasury passed by parish voters: 1765 votes yes and 1648 votes no; Amendment #3-provides for ad valorum tax exemptions for certain first responders. That measure was approved by parish voters with 1874 yes votes and 1560 no votes; Amendment #4-dealing with the use of money in the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund. That measure was voted down by parish voters: 1827 voted no and 1555 voted yes. KVPI's Misty Parker and Mark Layne were there broadcasting complete return coverage on Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI.

Sheriff Office Arrests

Suspect arrested for theft of stolen ATV and another suspect arrested for bomb threat Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following suspects were arrested: On November 3, deputies responded to the 2000 block of West Main Street in reference to a stolen ATV. Through the use of tracking devices, sheriff's deputies went to the location where the stolen ATV was tracking. They discovered the missing ATV and another ATV inside a shed and later determined it was stolen too. The suspect , Jaquan Lavergne, age 18 of Enola Street. He was charged with two counts of possession of stolen things with bond set at $30,000. He is currently in the parish jail. On November 16, a suspect, Heath Morris Cintron age 49 of Eunice was located by the state police in Rapides Parish and arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant for "Communication False Information of planned Arson". His bond was set at $15,000. The charges are in connection with a bomb threat at his former place of employment, Cabot Corporation. Sheriff Guillory urges the general public to contact his office to report any type of criminal activity at 337-363-2124. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Evangeline Parish Ranked in Top 5 School Districts in State

Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard Comments Regarding Evangeline Being Ranked in the Top 5 School Districts in the Louisiana "All of these accolades and awards for outstanding academic achievement are extra special since they reflect the hard work and commitment of our employees, students and community of stakeholders. In August, we were recognized for having the 2nd highest "growth to mastery" LEAP score out of 69 school districts in this state and, in October, we were recognized by the State School Board (BESE), for being a Top 10 Improvement District! Now, to be acknowledged by the Louisiana Department of Education for having the 5th highest overall academic improvement ranking out of 69 school districts, is historic and truly amazing! We are grateful to God for these blessings! These outstanding state test scores represent the work of outstanding teachers, administrators, and support workers, who worked untiringly with our precious students, as they were undergirded by their parents, families and communities. I have no doubt the students of the Evangeline Parish School District are blessed with wonderful and caring educators and support staff. Despite overwhelming obstacles and opposition, no other group could turn our pandemic exacerbated challenges into educational opportunities with positive academic outcomes for the students of Evangeline. Truly, God has turned, once again, those things that were meant for defeat into glorious victory! These historic gains represent another giant LEAP onward, upward, and forward for education in Evangeline Parish!".

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 11-7-23 The Rotary Club met on Tuesday, and our speaker, presented by Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc, was Dr. Erin Bendily. Dr. Bendily is with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy - a non-profit and non-partisan institute whose purpose is to help the state of Louisiana to thrive and move forward. Louisiana has multiple ports, the Mississippi River, a good cost of living, a beautiful culture, plus so many things that should equate to prosperity. However, poor policy decisions have caused the problems that Louisiana is now facing. Dr. Bendily addressed some of the areas of concern. The first was revenue. The state budget is $51 billion dollars, which is double what it was 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the population has declined over that same time period, resulting in less revenue, and that is creating an unsustainable situation. So, the question is, are our tax dollars being used well? Louisiana has one of the most complex, convoluted tax systems. It has one of the most unfriendly corporate tax structures. Fixing this is now a necessity. The sales tax system is also one of the most complex in the country, causing businesses to relocate. Tax reform probably won't come up until 2025 because the legislature only takes up this issue every other year. However, work is now being done to work toward correcting this problem. The next issue was spending. The state continues to spend more without evaluating the expenses. More care needs to be made to look at what is working and what is not, and there needs to be more restraint. Twenty percent of the population lives in poverty. It is very difficult to access programs for help, and a lot of research has been done to improve this system. Crime is coming down, but it remains too high. Data collection is important to determine what the outcome of programs actually is, and this has become a priority. Right now, the truancy rate is 45% in our school system. Only 33% of our students are proficient at their grade level. It is improving, but there is still more work to be done. There are many policy items that are being studied – technology, innovation, licensure, etc. Elections have taken place with runoffs coming soon. It is now time to address these concerns. Make sure to push the candidates for Transformational Change for Louisiana. Find out more at ourlouisianacomeback.com. Other Rotary News: • Rotary continues to take names for the 10 Christmas baskets. • The program for November 14th will be presented by Ryan LeDay Williams.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting

Evangeline Parish Police Jury – November 6, 2023 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held their monthly meeting on Monday night. The Christmas Jury meeting has been scheduled for December 12th at 2:00. This will be their all French meeting. In old business, the Sheriff's department has started acting on the Nuisance Ordinance, and the first batch of citations has been issued. In committees, public hearings were set for November 18th for the following: • Adopt the Ordinance for the Acadiana Watershed District • Constable and JP pay increases • Oquin Loop – reduce speed limit from 45 mph to 25 mph • Cabot Road – reduce the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph • Adopt the 2023 Budget Amendments and 2024 Budget Appropriations • Award bids for Fiscal Year 2024 The Crooked Creek committee discussed the planned bath house. The architect should have plans drawn this month. The plan is also to build the pavilion at the beach and tear down the old mechanic's shed. Once the plans are complete, the project will be submitted for bids. Mr. Kim Ortego updated the Jury on the park operations. Visitors have increased, and they are working with a vendor to create a simple website to include a description and pictures with links for current events and to make reservations. Cemetery Boards were appointed for 4 year terms for both the Vandenburg Cemetery and the Ferguson Cemetery. Bridgette Homer with Capital Area Finance Authority asked for a Resolution from the Jury to be adopted to allow CAFA to add a bond option to help reduce interest rates for their clients. The Public Works Director discussed moving drainage and maintenance crews where needed. He also discussed looking into CDL training. The Engineer Reported on capital outlays for a chilling system. They should close on the water sector project land next week, and then the project can go to bid. The Secretary/Treasurer reported that the budget had been distributed. IDB met last week, and there has been significant progress made. They are waiting on the response from the Solar Company to the Board's proposal. Acadian Ambulance is in compliance, as always. There was a discussion about health insurance, and open enrollment is proposed for the week of November 27th. Tax Collections for the month were $387,648.83. The Jury handled the annual business and other regular business items and approved the budget for 9-1-1. The removal of the speed bump on Henry Cole Lane was approved. And the committee also approved transferring the old Mosquito Spray unit to the City Of Ville Platte. The next regular meeting will be on Monday, November

Election Returns

Election Returns October 14, 2023 Complete but unofficial election returns from Saturday's Primary election shows the following: In the Clerk of Court's race, incumbent randy Deshotel was reelected over opponent Jebby Cormier. Deshotel received 70 percent of the vote or 5343 votes to Cormier's 2278 votes or 29 percent of the vote; For Police Juror in District One: incumbent Keith Saucier defeated challenger Freeman Celestine. Saucier received 51.5 percent of the vote or 494 votes to Celestine's 464 votes; In Police Jury District Two, incumbent Sidney Fontenot was re elected over challenger Jamie Fontenot. Sidney Fontenot received 55 percent of the vote or 432 votes to Jamie Fontenot's 353 votes or 44.9 percent; In Police Jury District Four, challenger Tim Causey defeated incumbent police juror Lelia Johnson Thrasher. Causey received 56.6 percent of the vote or 677 votes while Thrasher got 518 votes or 43.35 percent; In Police Jury District Six, there will be a runoff election. Incumbent Eric Soileau with 514 or 49 percent of the vote was the top vote getter will be going into a runoff with challenger Brent Guillory who got 502 votes or 42.9 percent of the vote. The third person in the race was Donald Vidrine who received 31 votes; In Police Jury District Seven, incumbent Bryan Vidrine defeated Kevin Cabon Fontenot. Vidrine received 71 percent of the vote or 606 votes whole Fontenot got 237 votes or 28 percent of the vote; Police Jury District Eight, the winner is Darion "Brother" Arvie with 532 votes or 50.76 percent of the vote defeated both of his opponents: Sherman "Deedee" Wilson with 379 votes and Earl "Tenny" Doucet with 137 votes; In Millage tax elections: The Town of Mamou 12.45 mill property tax proposition passed for a ten year term by a vote of 283 voting yes and 170 voting no; The Mamou Fire Protection District No. 1 8.007 tax renewal for another ten year term was approved by voters: 1424 voting yes and 296 voting no; The Duralde Gravity Drainage District #4 8.17 mill tax renewal for a nother ten years was approved by voters: 104 voting yes and 21 voting no; Constitutional Amendments: Amendment #1 prohibit use of private funds in elections was approved by parish voters 5427 voting yes and 2089 voting no; Amendment #2 dealing with th e freedom of worship was approved by parish voters: 6088 voters voting yes and 1477 voting no; Amendment #3 dealing with the state retirement system was approved by parish voters with 3977 voters voting yes and 3386 voters voting no; Amendment #4- dealing with tax exemptions was approved by parish voters: 4605 voting yes and 2811 voting no; In statewide races, here in Evangeline Parish For Governor: the top vote getter was Jeff Landry with 5624 voters followed by Shawn Wilson with 1574 votes; For Lt. Governor: incumbent Billy Nungesser was the top vote getter with 5010 votes in the parish and Willie Jones came in second with 1182 votes' For Secretary of State: Mike Francis was the top voter in the parish receiving 3082 votes followed by Nancy Landry with 1080 votes; For Attorney General:, Liz Baker Murrill was the top vote getter in the parish with 3402 votes followed by John Stefanski with 1967 votes; For State Treasurer: John Fleming was the vote getter with 4107 votes followed by Dustin Granger with 1788 votes; For BESE Board Member in District eight :Preston Castille was the top vote getter in the parish with 4392 votes and opponent Delores Cormier Zenon 2ith 1753 votes. The KVPI News team., Misty and Mark, did a live broadcast from the Clerk of Court's Office for the entire election returns with Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel.

Suspect transported back to Ville Platte from Port Arthur, Texas

Ville Platte Police retrieves suspect back to Evangeline Parish October 12, 2023 Ville Platte Chief of Police Al Perry Thomas reported to KVPI News today that he traveled to Port Arthur, Texas to extradite Marcus Paul Arvie age 23 of Ville Platte. Arvie was arrested by Texas authorities and placed on a hold for Ville Platte officials. Arvie was charged with Accessory After the Fact of Second Degree Murder. His bond was set at $250,000 and he is currently in the Evangeline Parish Jail. He was arrested and charged in connection with the death of Vashonskee Charles age 17 of Ville Platte on August 29. His body was discovered on Colt Avenue. Arvie is accused of assisting in the disposal of the victim's body outside of Ville Platte. Jared Freeman was extradited earlier from Los Angeles, California and is charged with second degree murder in the death of Charles and is under a two million dollar bond. Ville Platte Police are still searching for two suspects in the case: Jaylon Thomas and Dalonzo Alfred. Chief Thomas told KVPI News that his department are still running down leads in the investigation of the shooting death of a Baton Rouge man who was shot to death last Friday night. He was shot four times and his body was found near his vehicle along Court Street. His identity was not released but he is a black male in his 30's. Police are looking at possibly a passenger in the vehicle may have been the shooter. In another case, Chief Thomas reported that his department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred Wednesday night at the Dollar Store on West Main across from the funeral home. The incident occurred around 9:30pm. There were no shoppers only two employees at the time of the holdup. The robber stole some $2600 from the store.

Rotary Club Meeting

Rotary Club Meeting – 10-10-23 The program at the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday was presented by Rotarian Clem LaFleur. Clem introduced his daughter, Yontria LaFleur. Yontria has been a model and an actress, and she is now forming her own Image Consulting business. She helps her clients select clothing to best express their body type and preferences, which in turn helps to build confidence. Her clients include attorneys, teachers, doctors, politicians and others. She helps people with clothing for every day, events, and special occasions. Yontira also plans to start a mentorship program, which she will likely form as a non- profit. Her first event was at Ville Platte High. She invited fitness and health coaches, a yoga instructor and others. Her purpose was to teach the students how to present themselves in public and how to dress for interviews and other important events.  She plans to remain actively involved in Ville Platte, because this is home. Other Rotary News: • Bryan Ardoin presented a potential new member for the first time – Carleen Jones, Campus Director for SLCC • Rotary will start taking names for the Christmas baskets • Annette Johnson explained the Rotary statements • Nicole Wenger announced that Larry Lachney will present the program at the next meeting, October 17th. • The District Governor will be visiting the Ville Platte Rotary on October 24th. The plan is to put together a Gumbo and seasoning basket as a gift for the District Governor. • Wayne Vidrine updated everyone about planting Azaleas at Chicot Park with Sacred Heart. If there is enough rain, planting will take place on December 3rd, and there will be about 100 azaleas to plant.

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The Louisana Swamp Pop Museum is operated by the City of Ville  Platte is open to the public every Friday and

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